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April 27, 2005
For immediate release

Premier Presents Champions for Children Awards

Health and Social Services

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Premier Pat Binns and Dr. David Wong, Chair of the Premier’s Council on Healthy Child Development, are pleased to announce the recipients of the second annual Champions for Children Awards. The awards, which were handed out last night in Charlottetown, celebrate the outstanding work and contribution made by individuals, organizations, and communities in the province in providing skills and opportunities for children to reach their fullest potential in all aspects of their lives.

Premier Pat Binns recognized the contributions of all 11 nominees for this year’s awards. “Each nominee is a fine example of the wonderful efforts being made across the province to ensure that children, who are our future, are provided with the necessary tools and appropriate environment in which they can thrive.”

“The Champions for Children awards provide the council an opportunity to recognize some of the very talented and committed individuals working on behalf of children across PEI,” said Dr. Wong. “Everyone who was nominated is making an outstanding contribution to the children in their community and should be proud of their accomplishments.”

The three recipients of Champions for Children Awards are:

Gwyn Davies – a family violence outreach worker in Eastern Prince Edward Island who has demonstrated commitment to families, women and children through her career as a teacher, child care coordinator, outreach worker and community volunteer. As a family, women’s and children’s advocate, Ms. Davies has provided support to children, as well as mothers, living in violence and continues to provide outreach support, information and public education to Kings County residents on family and relationship violence. Ms Davies is involved with numerous organizations including the Board of Directors for Carousel Family Resource Centre, Positive Parenting from Two Homes, the Community Mental Health Coalition, and Project Discovery, a project which helps young men and women transition into the workforce.

Bessie Dennis – a committed volunteer from O’Leary, has served on the Board of the O’Leary Housing Authority for over twenty years. Ms. Dennis has demonstrated her commitment and caring for families and children living in low income situations through her work with the Board in the Family Housing program and as a community volunteer, by ensuring safe and clean housing to raise families, providing children in the community with needed winter clothing, and teaching young mothers how to cook healthy meals for their children. She has also contributed to the lives of children in the O’Leary area in many other ways, including her work as a Sunday school teacher, cub leader and hockey coach.

Donald Nicholson – a long time volunteer and advocate for tenants who has served on the Board of the Montague Housing Authority for over twenty years. Mr. Nicholson recognizes the importance of providing stable housing for children and their families and that stability is key to a child’s development. Through his volunteer work, he has provided children with access to church and community activities such as cubs and hockey, given support to parents, and encouraged others in the community to lend a hand. A retired car salesperson, Mr. Nicholson volunteers as a pastoral visitor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and as a volunteer manager of the Montague Funeral Coop.

The Premier’s Council on Healthy Child Development was established by Premier Pat Binns in March 2001 as a demonstration of the provincial government’s commitment to the Healthy Child Development Strategy, a Prince Edward Island initiative that focuses on children from the prenatal period to the early school years. The council’s role is to advise the Premier on issues affecting young children in PEI.

Media Contact: Patrick Dorsey
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